A veritable who’s who of powerful lobbyists has scheduled an Oct. 15 reception/fundraiser in an attempt to rehabilitate the image of Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno.
Hickey drew criticism from even leaders in his own party after telling a Reno radio interviewer that 2014 would be a big year for the Republican Party because many Democratic-leaning voters wouldn’t turn out in a nonpresidential election year.
He also pointed out that Gov. Brian Sandoval is without a serious opponent in his bid for re-election.
“Where we had a million voters turn out in 2012, we’ll have like 700,000,” he said. “A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a nonpresidential year.
”It’s a great year for Republicans,” he said.
Democrats jumped on the seemingly tone-deaf remarks, saying they effectively celebrate voter suppression by the GOP.
They weren’t alone; Sandoval disavowed Hickey’s comments and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., sharply criticized them as “divisive, insensitive and (running) counter to the basic duties and honor of public service.”
Hickey apologized, saying: “I am sorry about my recent comments, and I regret I made them. It was not my intention to alienate anyone but I did misspeak, plain and simple and for that I apologize.”
But some in the party have said Hickey made himself into damaged goods.
Hickey supporters responded Tuesday by announcing a cocktail reception at the Eldorado Hotel’s Cin Cin Lounge hosted by the Carano family, which owns the resort, and 80 lobbyists representing Nevada’s biggest industries and most powerful special interest groups.
The reception notice suggests a contribution of “$1,000 host - $500 corporate/PAC - $100 individual,” payable to “Friends of Pat Hickey.”